Jacqueline Ayers, vice president of government relations and public policy at Planned Parenthood, opposed the rule on the grounds it tried to reduce access to abortion.
"This rule won't just require separate payments, it further splits off abortion from other reproductive health care and puts up massive barriers to access," she said.
Ayers added that Planned Parenthood, which is the largest abortion provider in the U.S., "vehemently opposes this rule and will continue our work to stop the administration's attacks on our health and rights."
The Association for Community Affiliated Plans, which has 60 Medicaid-focused health care plans, also opposed the rule, CNN reports.
"Requiring people to pay two bills for one product -- health coverage -- is a non-solution in search of a problem," said Margaret Murray, the association's CEO.
Critics of the previous rule have sought change under the Trump administration. In 2018 U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), in a letter to the Department of Health and Human services signed by 102 Members of Congress, requested regulations to make consumers aware of the surcharge.
In October 2019, more than 40 pro-life organizations sent a letter to the Trump administration backing the new changes. Signers included leaders with the Susan B. Anthony List, the National Right to Life Committee, March for Life Action, Americans United for Life, and the American Association of Pro-Life OB-GYNS.
They said that insurance companies could create "hidden abortion surcharges" which mean health plan enrollees are "unknowingly paying into plans that subsidize elective abortion."
Their letter cited the Hyde Amendment, first passed in 1976, which bars federal funding for most abortions. They objected that the treatment of abortion coverage violates the amendment in principle. Requiring separate payments would help provide transparency.
While the Hyde Amendment applies to federal health care programs including Medicaid, pro-life advocates have voiced concern for years that the Affordable Care Act does not follow its requirements.
Federal rules against taxpayer funding for abortions have had longtime support even among pro-abortion rights politicians, but the Democratic primary candidates for president have increasingly rejected them. Following criticism from pro-abortion rights activists, former vice president Joe Biden retracted his support for the Hyde Amendment in June.
(Story continues below)
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